The prestigious The Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg, has announced the commissioned artists who are to compete, unveiling another year of innovative contemporary dance, semi-professional dancers kitted out in their dancewear and the upcoming choreographic talent of the UK. As one of the most high-status dance awards, The Place Prize is returning for its 5th edition, premiering the commissions during The Place Prize Semi-finals in September.
16 new dance works have been commissioned from over 200 entries, a phenomenal interest and the highest number to date. By the end of summer 2012, The Place Prize will have enabled the creation of 92 pieces of new choreography, with an investment of over £1.2million in British dance. Since the cuts made to Arts Council funding by the government in April 2011, many dance organisations have had to reduce their activity, even preventing many leotards and ballet shoes seeing their familiar studio floor again.
The 16 entrants competing for The Place Prize have been awarded a total commission fund of £100,000 to realise their dance dreams, and the recipient artists will also benefit from free production time and support from The Place Prize team to create their pieces. The commissions encompass a wide range of contemporary styles, reflecting the sheer diversity of today’s dance scene in Britain.
The commissioned artists include former Place Prize Finalists (2011) Riccardo Buscarini and Eva Recacha, and Place Prize Semi-finalists Ben Ash (2006), Ben Wright (2006; 2008), and Darren Ellis (2010). In addition to previous alumni, Jonathon Goddard, the first contemporary dancer to win the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Male Dancer in 2008 and fellow Rambert dancer Gemma Nixon are also involved. Mamoru Iriguchi, a self-taught performance maker who originally trained as a zoologist, and then a theatre designer, has also been commissioned. His work was first seen on The Place stage during Resolution! 2011, another choreographic platform. As only the 5thversion of The Place Prize platform, who knows what choreographic talent it may uncover.